I first started making Mark Bittman’s Beet & Lentil Salad last April, when I needed to take a gluten-free vegan dish to Ashley‘s birthday potluck. I had some ramps (also known as wild leeks) on hand from the farmers’ market and roasted them along with the beets, and tossed them into the final salad. Holy yum, they were delicious.
Still a bit early for the farmers’ market here, so I’ve been using up the produce from my local organic veggie box delivery folks, and put together this combination of veggies to welcome Spring! This salad is versatile enough that you can pop in whatever fresh produce you have on hand, and it’s bound to work out. If you must have greens in your salad, this is really nice with arugula.
I served it last night at a dinner party with my Sesame Lime Kale, that I think is going to have to overtake the Best Kale Ever for my favourite kale recipe. I sauteed the Sesame Kale this time in a big pan along with a splash of olive oil and a few splashes of water, (instead of steaming it in a steamer basket in a pot), and it turned out equally wonderful — and it was much easier to prepare the larger quantity of kale this way.
Magenta Beet & Lentil Salad
- 6 beets, unpeeled, scrubbed, trimmed
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 handfuls of basil leaves, torn
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 c. water
- a hefty pinch of kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 c. lentils, picked over and rinsed — it’s important to use lentils that will retain their shape here, like green, brown, Puy, or beluga lentils (trust me, red lentils won’t work…)
- 3 c. veggie stock
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 apple, chopped
- Balsamic vinaigrette (below)
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place whole beets into a large baking dish, with onion, basil and garlic. Add olive oil, salt & pepper, and water to pan. Cover with foil, and bake for one hour, or until beets are tender.
While beets are roasting, place lentils and stock into a separate large baking dish covered with foil. After the beets have cooked for 30 minutes, place lentils in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender.
Uncover both pans, and cool beets & lentils. If there is any extra broth in with the lentils, drain.
Remove beets from pan, and pour remaining liquid, basil & onions into a large bowl. Peel the beets, and cut into 1″ chunks.
In the large bowl, with the beet-liquid/basil-onion combo, add beets & lentils.
Toss with Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below), season with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.
- 6 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 big pinch of kosher or sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp. honey (optional)
Add all ingredients to a jar, and shake until emulsified. Make sure to do your favourite jar-shaking dance, it enhances the flavours. This is the fun part, so enjoy it!